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Pogo Stick Programs Provide Physical and Psychological Benefits to Children

Author(s): Angela J. Stewart | Nichelle B. Hubley | Jo M. Welch

Journal: Journal of Biophysical Chemistry
ISSN 2153-036X

Volume: 02;
Issue: 01;
Start page: 22;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Pogo | Vigorous Physical Activity | Children | Self-Esteem

Novel methods of adding vigorous exercise to physical education classes or after school programs could boost physical and psychological well-being in children. We explored the use of pogo stick classes in two cohorts of 10 - 11 years old children. Both interventions consisted of two, one-hour sessions per week for six weeks. Attendance at these after-school sessions was high (Study 1, 82%; Study 2, 95%). Study 1 tested the efficacy of a pogo class in sports-active children aged 10 - 11 years from a community adjacent to a university. They were tested before and after the intervention for balance using a stabilometer, for leg power using jump height, and for VO2max using the Leger 20 m shuttle run. Means of pre and post intervention measures were compared using paired t-tests. Balance improved (p = 0.001) while VO2max and leg power remained consistent. Study 2 tested the ability of pogo classes to improve self-esteem in girls who did not participate in sports and resided in a low socio-economic urban area. Before and after the intervention they completed the Harter Self-Perception Profile. Self-assessed scores in all six categories of the Harter Profile increased, indicating that the pogo stick intervention elicited improved self-esteem in the children. Results from these two pilot studies using pogo sticks in different cohorts of children indicate that pogo-based programs can provide physical and mental health benefits.

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